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British RoyalsThe Queen

One million crystals will be used for a statue of the Queen’s head

A dynamic and dazzling sculpture of Her Majesty The Queen’s head is set to grace Park Lane. Westminster Council have given permission for the sculpture which will be about five metres high on a plinth on the Southernmost traffic island. The sculpture is formed from over one million crystals hand-cut and individually positioned on a toughened glass sheet. It has been designed by the Italian artist Matt Marga and was originally produced for the monarch’s ninety-second birthday. He is represented by the Chelsea based gallery Ventique, and they have said “The diffraction of light through the crystals generates a colourful, shimmering reflection when hit by the sun or artificial lights”.

Many reasons led to Park Lane being the perfect choice in terms of position. The site has been designated by Westminster city of sculpture programme as a suitable location to promote public art for everyone to enjoy. The essential part of the concept of the sculpture was for it to always be visible by the public and kept on an outdoor location, not held behind closed doors in private collections. Only by choosing a clear and open location has it been possible for the sun to maximise the shining effect of the crystals, making the most of their sparkling potential.

The sculpture replaces a statue called Dunamis by Bushra Fakhoury, which has been there since 2013. The nine-metre high statue made in Liverpool consisted of a man supporting an elephant, his outstretched hand holding the elephant’s trunk as it “balanced” vertically.

Matt is now based in London but grew up in northern Italy spending his childhood searching Alpine valleys for crystals. Now he combines that childhood hobby with a background in architecture which means he can create highly technical structures that can support eye-catching shimmering surfaces like we have been promised with this structure. His sculptures have hypnotised the viewer in fascination and curiosity all over the globe, including London, Milan, Florence and Dubai thanks to his experimentation with crystals, their multi-dimensional nature and textures, and how light interacts with them.